How to ace the Dubai Marathon this weekend
This Friday will see runners all over the Emirates – and the world – lace up and descend upon Jumeirah Beach Road for the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon.
As most die-hard marathon runners will tell you, it’s the participation that counts. And while you get the same medal whether you place first or place last, many competitors will admit that it’s not the other runners you need to worry about; more the mind games that come with running the 42-sum kilometres.
According to Lee Ryan, a five-time Guinness World Record holder and captain of the Adidas Runners Club, it’s all a matter of preparation.
“Look, don’t get me wrong, it’s all very hard work,” admits Ryan, “but the race is actually the easy part. I know that makes me sound a tad arrogant, but it’s true”. “Running a marathon is less about what you do on the day, and a lot more the commitment you’ve made to run the race, the past six months of training, and maintaining focused on the road.”
Ryan has run more than 30-marathons and competed in over 150-further distance races. He admits that while ever race is different, all you can do is keep going. “Every race has its ups and downs, some kilometres feel like they go on forever. On the other side, if your minds in it and you stay focused, you can really enjoy the experience.”
Runners tend to be a superstitious bunch, admits Ryan, “Generally, you’ll have the same socks, shoes, shorts and shirt ready for race day. Followed by the same breakfast.” How does he prepare for race day?
“I know this will raise a few eyebrows, but what works for me is having a pizza the night before. I did it once and it worked, and I have done it ever since,” he says. Although, he’s quick to point out that what works for him doesn’t guarantee success.
“My running icon is Mo Farah, and what works for him doesn’t necessarily work for me. In the same way as what works for me might not work for you. It’s less about doing what someone else does, and more about finding what works for you. Then just stick to it”.
The Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon kicks off on early morning on Friday January 25th.